tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC May 25, 2017 8:00pm-9:01pm PDT
he's charged with misdemeanor simple assault which is not a crime you would ordinarily sent to jail for as a first offense anyways. they'll continue without a finding. it's really up to the voters in montana to decide whether they want to fire him next year if he wins. >> and they kept steve scalise, why not? david, josh, thanks for joining us. thanks for watching. stay with msnbc for complete coverage starting right now on the 11th hour with brian williams. breaking tonight, jared kushner under fbi scrutiny putting the russia investigation not just inside the west wing, but inside the trump family. and alongside the president. tonight what the feds want to know. plus donald trump's america first bravado on display at nato as the president rails against u.s. allies. and could the congressional candidate charged with assault be headed far win tonight in montana? results are coming in live as the 11th hour begins right now.
well good evening again from our headquarters here in new york. he may be the closest advisor to the president and thus one of the most powerful men in our country. and yet, few americans have ever heard his speaking voice. jared kushner is 36. he's a harvard graduate. a real estate executive at his family's firm. a landlord, a senior advisor to the president, and happens to be married to the president's daughter. he is in charge of achieving middle east peace among other things, and tonight we have confirmed that jared kushner is under fbi scrutiny, according to multiple federal officials and as it was nbc news first to report this tonight, this means that the washington post story six days ago saying investigators were focussed on a person of interest inside the trump white house, that was about kushner as widely rumored at the time. and this means that the investigation now reaches right
next to the president. this was day 126 of the trump administration, and prior to the kushner story breaking tonight, the lead story for much of the day, had to do with the president. and how he presented himself and represented his country in front of nato, our most valuable post world war ii alliance. the visual element was this. the american president pushing aside the prime minister in order to get out front and in front of the cameras. it quickly rocketed around the world with caption variations on america first. and then some, which also seems to be the theme of the president talk today. our discussion of all of that awaits. first though, the confirmation tonight that the man who has been called the deputy president is as they say, under scrutiny. we begin with this breaking news on the president's son-in-law, and for that, i'm joined by nbc news national security producer courtney koby whose byline
appears along with peter alexander and ken delaware lain yan on our nbc news report tonight. and courtney, what new developments are we reporting? >> well brian as you said at the top, jared kushner, the president's son-in-law is now the subject of fbi scrutiny. so what does that mean? it means that he has some information that the fbi wants to know more about. whether that surrounds perhaps meetings that he had with the russian ambassador at some point last year, whether it surrounds some meetings he had with the head of a russian state-owned bank is not clear. we don't know yet. what it does not mean is that he is the target of an investigation. he is not. he is not the center piece of any investigation. as part of this larger russia probe or inquiry. now keep in mind that jared kushner, he's already volunteered. he's already agreed to speak to leaders in congress about what he knows about this russia probe.
so unlike other people who are involved in the trump campaign, mike flynn, who was the short nsa advisor, national security advisor, and paul manafort who served as the manager of the campaign, unlike them, he has agreed to come forward and speak about what he knows to members of congress. as of now, we still don't know exactly what it is that jared kushner knows that the fbi wants to know, we just know they want to speak to him about it. >> courtney, thanks for starting our broadcast off with that recitation what have it is, we're reporting tonight. and with that, let's bring in tonight's starting panel, peter baker, chief white house correspondent for the "new york times." and correspondent for the washington host covering foreign policy and politics. and jeremy bash, chief of staff to both the director of the cia and the secretary of defense during the obama administration, notably former council of the house intelligence committee. it's going to get you the first question tonight. first of all on wording.
and let's say something three times that's important. presumption of innocence, presumption of innocence, presumption of innocence. there's other words. we heard person of interest sticks days ago in the washington post. we just heard courtney correctly say not a target. first of all, what does under scrutiny mean to you. second part of the question, where does this mean mueller might be as he looks that the kind of overarching topic of russia? >> it's pa jortive to say under scrutiny, if you look at ken and peter's reporting. there is nothing particularly pejorative that he may have information that bears on this broader investigation. he is it appear merely a witness. he's not a subject, he's not a target, and so he's not in any way in a cross hairs for doing anything wrong. he just knows things that the federal investigators to want know. and i think that's the extent of
the report tonight. but the larger question that you asked of what is bob mueller interested in. where does he go from here? it's really a tough call for him about wlo weather to have comey go to the hill and testify. because a new pillar in this investigation, beyond the trump/russia collusion issue is the of course the obstruction of justice issue which does involve white house if i believes and the president himself. if comey testifies, i think it indicates that mueller was okay with that, he's not going hard at that issue, but if comey does not testify, i think that means that mueller is very seriously looking at an obstruction of justice piece of the investigation. >> well, that's interesting. peter baker, same question to you about what this says or may not say about mueller. >> well, look, you know, he's just getting started. he hasn't been immersed in this and he's looking at all the players on the field. one players on the field is the president's son-in-law who had these meetings of interest and it wouldn't be surprising for a special council to say well what
were those meetings about? what was happening there? why didn't they originally get reported on the disclosure forms that should have been reported on and what do they add up to? remember we already know that michael flynn seems to be, you know, at least in some degree of legal trouble. and it may be the jared kushner is a way of talking about what michael flynn did or didn't do or did or didn't know. nobody wants to have this name associated with this thing. certainly a matter of politics uncomfortable and unpleasant for somebody like jared kushner who has other things on his plate, but this is, you know, the beginning, not the end, of a very long process. >> and ann, first of all welcome, secondly your paper writes tonight in addition to possible coordination between the kremlin and the trump campaign, the influence, the 2016 presidential election investigators are also looking broadly into possible financial crimes. but the people familiar with the matter who were not authorized to speak publicly did not specify who or what was being examined. and this topic of leaks is the
one they're strongly pushing back on, the white house and their surrogates. the leaks are unbelievable, never seen anything like it, but when you start mentioning financial crimes it reminds everybody just how many tent kms this thing has. >> absolutely. and i mean the -- the fact that jared kushner's name is in the same report and is part of the same wider investigation that now includes people who are probably under in significant legal jeopardy and the possibility of obstruction of justice, the possibility of financial crimes, you start to really widen and broaden the investigation and also sort of the cloud that -- it gets hard for people to follow each of these tentacles to use your term, and to really figure out,
you know, who's under investigation for what? how close this gets to the president and how serious it really is. it just looks bad all the way around. >> jeremy bash, we've never had, we keep saying this, but about jared kushner, we've never had an individua or a circumstance anything like this. it's like -- if harry hopkins at roosevelt's side came to the west wing with a vast business empire of his own. married to one of the roosevelt daughters. we've just never seen this. so what's the import of us coming on the air and saying, now we know this reaches not just into the west wing, but into the family, into what is often the seat alongside the president? >> ting turns on the underlying conduct which based on this reporting and at this hour, brian, i'm not sure we know that. he is unquestionably the most significant advisor to the president of the united states.
hooeg a prague notist in the other people in the republican party and basically in the mainstream if you will, you know, he's pursuing a policies on foreign policy that aren't out of step with traditional american foreign policy. the only big exception here with the white house, brian, is of course, the russia piece. with regards you saw in russia today, you saw at the nato meeting of leaders today, the president echoing themes written by vladimir putin. you know, basically saying, nato pay up, you're not paying your fair share. and then of course not saying that we would defend them if they were attacked. that is a major foreign policy error. >> peter, look back about the comey dismissal, you shared the byline with the people we know seeming know so well, glenn and maggie and michael, and you
wrote, mr. trump, comma, found of vetting his decisions with a wide circle of staff members, advisor advisors, and friends mike pence, the white house council don mcbegan and his s-in-law jared kushner who said they generally back dismissing mr. comey. we're looking at this rearview mirror, why is that little piece of jared's past in the west wing kind of critical? >> well interesting on a couple of levels, as jeremy said, we have been seeing jared kushner as a voice of prague notism in the white house that has some pretty strong will and figures. so the idea that he would be supportive of what seems like a bold move and firing in the fbi director who's leading the investigation into the people around you as president is surprising. and therefore makes you wonder obviously given his own, you
know, exposure at this point to russian officials and to the sort of perimeter at least of where this investigation is, was there some, you know, feeling on his part that this investigation has gotten out of control as the president said, is it snag strikes him as unfairly hind therg white house again as his father-in-law is arguing, but it was not obviously a situation where he was throwing a red flag up and saying wait a second, this is going to cause you real problems. >> i'm reminded, you covered the first part of the trip, have returned and lived to tell about it. what was the traveling trump white house -- what were the atmospherics, what did it feel like to you? >> two different halves of the trip, the half was in saudi arabia and israel. they were thrilled to have him in saudi arabia and thrilled in israel. and he stuck closely to the script. it was a donald trump we have not seen often. it was somebody on message, who kept saying what he was supposed
to be saying, who didn't answer questions from reporters, did not use twitter to go off on different tan ins and came off as successful from their point of view. they got the visuals and the applause. then he's gone on to europe where he doesn't have quite as many frids deeper well of skepticism waiting for him. and not only hosts weary eye at him, as jeremy just said, he kind of throwing a knuckle ball at them as well. attack on one is an attack an all. >> ann, you've been a long time diplomatic correspondent among other things. how do you have to adjust your lens nor trip, let's be nice to the saudis and tough on the allies, et cetera, et cetera? >> well, i mean, you have to
look out at completely backwards from the way other presidents, including many republican presidents probably would have structured this strip, right? donald trump's first foreign visit, the first country he set foot on, first place he set foot on foreign soil as president was saudi arabia. one of the most repressive regimes in the world. one that certainly has the possibility of doing a lot of business with the united states, already does a lot of business with the united states and is a very vital intelligence-sharing partner and pillar of stability in the middle east, but nonetheless, again, one of the most repressive regimes on earth. that was stop one, you know, then israel which everybody goes to israel. i could have come anywhere beginning or end. and it's nato and the european allies and big economic powers of the g7 on the back end and
really very much, very different optics as we were just discussing in saudi arabia, it was absolutely the royal treatment, literally. they looked happy, he looked happy, everybody was happy. and there was a big business deal signed at nato. nobody looked happy. all the other leaders were looking at their shoes. donald trump was grimacing. he clearly was st o getting, just grinning his way through that speech and very significantly, he did not affirm u.s. commitment to article 5, the pact of common defense on which nato is formed. the white house has since said well just the simple fact that he was there was an affirmation of article 5, but he didn't say it out loud. and that's what the allies were waiting to hear from him. >> jeremy bash, i can't stress how much that the white house is going to stress leaks. it gives kind of a nothing to
see here blanket over the main story, but also leaks have been in the news most recently, it was the u.s. who leaked the bombers identity in manchester before the britts were ready to do that. so that's led to a little dust-up theresa may. >> yeah, and it's distressing and to see the uk disappointed in the way we've handled sensitive information. i'm glad to see today the british said hey look, we've addressed this concern with our american counterparts, we're ready to begin sharing again. the safety of both countries gends on trust and i hope that's something we can rebuild. >> jeremy bash, one of the professional vices of sanity, thank you as always. thanks gang, we're going to fit in our next break here with this russia cloud overhead. more on president trump's america first mantra on full display at nato and that awkward encount we are world leaders that ann was talking about. and later, new details on donald
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comey eased pressure from the investigation. trump's plan to retain his private attorney, and russia investigation. the times again reporting top russian officials discussed how to influence trump aids last summer. and the big news tonight, from nbc news, jared kushner is under scrutiny in the russia probe according to officials. today, with this investigation hanging over him and the trip like a shadow and with his fellow world leaders, and nato members looking on, this is part of the message the president delivered. >> 23 of the 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying and what they are supposed to be paying for their defense. this is not fair to the people in tax payers of the united states. over the last eight years, the united states spent more on defense than all other nato countries combined.
if all nato members had spent just 2% of their gdp, on defense last year, we would have had another $119 billion for our collective defense and for the financing of additional nato reserves. and i never asked once, what the new nato headquarters cost. i refuse to do that. but it is beautiful. >> peter and ann remain with us on the broadcast, and joining our broadcast tonight, jonathan shade from new york magazine. jonathan in honor of having you on, i'm going give you fastball over the plate, it's slower than usual, little higher than usual, so shift your weight to the back foot, take a good swing, what about today did you notice that may be set post world war ii history on it's ear?
>> what i noticed most was the leaks coming out that our defense and foreign policy establishment had to inform the rest of the world what our government has already known is that the president of the united states is essentially a child. which is a very scary thing to tell people. but they've tried to tell them that and essentially reassure them that the things trumps says or doesn't say can't be taken all that seriously for this very reason. and they had to do damage control and this to explain that he doesn't understand, and he says things that don't necessarily make any sense or don't necessarily reflect policy. and they tried to sort of smooth over this transition of this horror that they've been living with for 127 days, and sort of bringing them in on this terrible secret. >> um, all right, having said that, peter, we mentioned article 5, once or twice, and first segment, take your best swing and explaining to people who may not know it, what it is,
it's importance, and how it flew in the missing man formation today. >> exactly. article 5 is what nato is all about. article 5 says that basically an attack on one member is an attack on all and that all members shall come to the aid and some fashion or another of one who's attacked. it's only been cited once in the entire history of nato which goes back to the end of the 1940s and that was after 9/11 when the allies came to our defense in effect after the world trade center and the pentagon were hit. and they said this is an attack on the united states, an attack on all of us. and people wanted to hear in europe today was president trump reaffirm america's comtment to that principle. now, you wouldn't say that america has to say it every time, but there's a reason why, look a year ago as a candidate, candidate trump brought that into question. he said that he believes in defending allies, as long as they had paid up. you heard that theme, of course in his speech today about paying up. the idea they don't spend enough
on their own defense. he conditioned that a year ago. basically we will condition our defense of our allies on whether or not they are making financial investments in their own defense. that's the first time any american president has ever sort of given any sense that we would not follow through on our treaty commitment. now whether he means that or a negotiating tactic, there had been a big expectation that he would say something about that today. he was speaking in fact in front of a memorial to article 5. now his staff says the fact that he didn't say anything doesn't mean anything. the fact that he was there meant that he was for article five, sean spicer said it was laugh to believe think that he was not committed to article five and in fact that he's 100% committed to it, but he didn't say the words and that's what the europeans wanted to hear today. >> and ann, peter mentioned just part of the strishls, the fact that this took place in front of a gnarled piece of world trade center wreckage, the fact that his speech took place in television we call it cutaways when we show the crowd, the
crowd of his fellow allies and leaders when he made some of his more surprising points. it was just an unbelievable atmospherics. >> it was. they were whit perring among themselves, looking around and what appeared to be disbelief. and as i mentioned earlier, at one point, almost to a leader, they were looking down at their shoes. because they didn't seem to know where else to look. the visuals were really dramatic. and trump himself, you know, was gripping the lectern and looked like he was willing himself to get through it and grimacing as he went. the other memorial off to the other side was the one that angela merkel had dedicated just before trump spoke, which is a piece of the berlin wall. and the two artifacts are meant to signify that really all that
nato is. right. nato was formed as an alliance of europe and the united states, a transatlantic alliance in opposition to the soviet union. there's no clearer representation of the legacy of the soviet union than the berlin wall. and the only time as peter said that the common defense pact, the nato's founding principle has been invoked, was in response to 9/11 and there you have the steel beems of the north tower signifying that. for trump to utterly ignore all of that predicate, i think was you saw the disbelief registered on the other leaders faces. he didn't even really say why he was there. >> and jonathan, because of russia normalization in quotes, no mention of russia which a lot of nato members still regard as kind of the clear and present and oddly resurgent danger and
as ann kind of put it earlier, was as trip goes has been the backwards day where you start in saudi, grace to feel your host, gracious, and then you go and kind of read the ryan act of the allies. >> that's exactly right. and as freaked out as we've been here in the united states about russian interference in our election, they are much more freaked out in western europe which is obviously geographically closer to russia and has been also victimized by russian interference in elections in politics for longer period of time. so, i think what they most wanted to know was that the united states was going to be on their side. that's what the whole article 5 symbolism was about. i think they didn't get that in some ways they got the opposite of that. there were comments that he made about germany being either bad or evil depending on your translation which is the biggest story in the german media. and i think, again, it goes back to what i was saying initially, from our government's perspective, that's just the kind of thing he just goes off
and says, he doesn't necessarily mean it,e s talking about cars and it wasn't necessarily saying that he sees germany as an evil, bad country, but from their point of view, this is a terrible and threatening thing. >> so jonathan, this is not maybe his power cord or does he -- is there really someone who goes back and says, look, he knew on the job he's kind of different than some of the other folks we've had. >> absolutely. i mean, i've seen all kinds of defense reporters reporting on this throughout the last couple of days. basically this clean-up operation where the defense and the security that diplomatic establishment are trying to explain to people that you can't take him at face value that he's kind of special or different or, you know, he's just not really kind of up to the job. and he doesn't really understand what he's talking about. which, again, can have the opposite effect of reassuring people that you tell them the president of the united states isn't really like an adult who's up to the job, but they're trying to walk that delicate
balance. >> by thanking them, we welcome jonathan to the broadcast. we welcome ann to the broadcast, and we welcome back peter baker. >> thank you all for being so generous with your time. and helping our broadcast tonight. when we come back, the montana race, which has so much attention focussed on it tonight. for reasons that originated last night. with this level of intelligence... it's a supercomputer. with this grade of protection... it's a fortress. and with this standard of luxury... it's an oasis. the 2017 e-class. it's everything you need it to be... and more. lease the e300 for $569 a month at your local mercedes-benz dealer. mercedes-benz. the best or nothing.
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right now we are waiting for the final results of this special congressional election in montana. and the race between republican greg gianforte and democrat rob kwis is probably getting more attention than it would have for one reason. the body slam heard around the political world. deputies charged gianforte with misdemeanor assault late last night after a reporter from the guardian newspaper named ben jacobs accused him of body slamming him. it started when jacobs asked him a question about the congressional budget office scoring of health care.
>> so that was last night, this is tonight, and joining us live from montana with the gianforte campaign is nbc news capitol hill reporter kasie hunt watching the results roll in on the bigboard. our national political correspoent steve kornacki, kasie, we'll begin with you, how much were the contours of this race affected by a misdemeanor charge given how much of this race, how much of the vote was in and done and dusted already? >> reporter: well, brian, there are questions about how much this could possibly affect the race giving it about two-thirds of montana voters that cast their ballots early, and we're seeing that reality bear out in the numbers as they slowly start to come in. the mood is sort of picked up here at the gianforte headquarters over the course of the last half an hour or so. as we see that he is sort of
maintaining a somewhat, what seems to be a durable lead around five points or so. the numbers right now are tracking closer to what they looked like for the presidential race in 2016 than the most recent governors race that favored the democrats a little bit more. and the reality is, this has turned into something of a potential problem i would say probably for republicans in washington assuming that the trend line continues. you saw some of the them struggle a little bit to answer questions about what happened. i spoke to ben jacobs, that guardian reporter earlier today, he was clearly, visibly shaken by what had happened. he was still kind of physically affected by the injuries. he described them as minor, he down played it, but he was injured on his elbow, on the side of his face during this altercation. and you saw the house speaker paul ryan say earlier, look, we think that he should apologize. although he did say this is going to be up to the voters of montana to choose. suggesting he was rejecting
democratic call uls not to see him as a member of congress should he ultimately win this special election. so, of course some people arguing hey, this is part of the overall tone that president trump is setting, but at the end of the day, it does look like this race is on track to be basically what we expected. potentially tighter than it might have been if trump weren't president, president trump weren't in office, but at the end of the day, basically expected result for republicans. still early, but that's what it's looking like right now, brian. >> kasie, a long way from washington right now. steve's at the big board. it's not official until we hear from you. what the numbers? >> look at this this way, half the vote in right now. of course the democrat is trail big five in the count right now. this reflects much more the early vote that already came in. a lot of tabulated in bigger counties. we are waiting on the same day. that's the big thing to keep in mind. for democrats, here's the bottom line, donald trump won this state in november by 21 points.
so they have shaved, as of the counting right now, 16 of the 21 points they need off of that. that's the good news. right now, they're short. let me show you what they need to do if they're going to pull out at a victory here. there's a couple of key counties to look at. all of the counties, we do not yet have any same day vote. this is all the early vote. this is all a vote that was tabulated before that incident last night. mooi zoo la, this is the biggest, heart of democratic montana. you have a county that hillary clinton won by 16 points last november, it's 27 in the early vote, here's the question, did that incident last night spark a surge in same day excitement for democrats? that's what we're waiting to see. can they get -- they need to get 27 higher in he's going to catch him. as we await the same day vote, that's the question. billings, yellowstone, county, biggest county in the state. this is bad news for democrat. this is proenl the most important vote. this is a place where donald trump won by 27 points in november, in the early vote, the
margin for gianforte is 20. democrats need to shave a lot more than seven points off again. this is all same day vote that has been to be tabulated. if there was a surge, they could eat into that 20. it's a long shot for democrats right now, look at billings, mizzou la, look at the state capital, helena, urban areas in the state. the same day vot if there was a surge, that's how they could shave that extra five points off. the good news for republicans is trump had gigantic margins in the eastern part of the state, north of 80%. those numbers are holding for gianforte here. the republican candidate, so the rural in roads that democrats needed to make, they didn't. what would save them now, if anything, a same day surge in the bigger counties. it's a long shot, but that's what they've got to pin their hopes to right now. >> we're waiting for more numbers. we'll come back for an update. thank you, steve kornacki. when we continue, the new reporting today about what the president's staff has tried to do on this foreign trip. when you have allergies,
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welcome back, whatever else we take away from the president's first overseas trip, and it's had it's moments, the news organization reports today there's a reason we haven't been talking about the president's twitter feed. the piece says trump staff has been endeavoring to quote, load up his schedule to keep him from getting worked up watching cable coverage whichften precipitates his tweets. and remember, reince priebus and steve bannon leaving saudi arabia early to head back to washington, they have been tasked with creating a so-called war room to deal with the mounting scandals dogging the administration, quote, we're getting street fighters ready to go. is how one trump ally put it. the author of the that reporting is with us tonight, mike allen, veteran of the "new york times," time, and politico, his morning news letter for his new venture
is required reading for much of media and politics. and we're happy to welcome back jeremy peters, "new york times" political reporter. okay, mike, to you, is this president going to return to american soil a changed consumer of media and producer of media or are these new staff behaviors trip specific? >> brian, if there's one thing we know about president trump, is he is not going to change. he is who he is, some people love it, others don't, president trump who is who he is, and that's why his staff tries to build these guardrails around him. and one of the them is limiting his screen time. so, during this trip, they have liked the fact that he's been busy and he's been in settings where there's been a lot of pomp and circumstance and he has been harolded. they love the swords in saudi arabia, all of that because it kept president trump away from distractions. >> so jeremy, he is going to
come back, again, from this first overseas trip. he was quoted as dreading it before it started. he's going to come back jet lagged. he's going to come back to this drum beat of press coverage produced by people like you and people like us. and what of his agenda? there is that notion back to the work at hand. >> that's absolutely right, brian. and it's very difficult to see where republicans and president trump gain traction on that agenda. i like to think about this in three distinct areas, all of which apiece problematic right now, the first is health care reform. mitch mcconnell made an absolute le remarkable admission the other day when he said he didn't know where he was going to get the 50 votes. and that means that he's not even thinking he can get a majority of his own conference. he needs mike pence as the vice president to break the tie and cast the 51st vote. so there's that. you can't really do tax reform
until you get health care republican out of the way because of the budget deficit reduction that would be included in reforming the health care system. you need that extra money to pass a tax cuts that president trump wants. now, republicans on capitol hill are already tempering their expectations about whether or not they can get a grand package of tax return legislation passed and i think maybe they could get it best something like a reduction to some corporate and individual rates. then you have the president's budget. i mean, the president's budget was already declared essentially dead on arrival by his own party. and that's pretty extraordinary. these budgets are usually political documents, but to have members of his own party saying this isn't going anywhere is a new thing. and a sign of just how weakened this president's agenda is on capitol hill right now. >> and mike, this is day one, two, six, russia could not be more real where preoccupations
are a concern. so they do feel embattled, the word scanned sl now getting tossed around as part of the language. you write about their desire to stock up on street fighters, exactly who or what do they mean? >> well, brian, in another term that's coming back that'll be very familiar to you and your viewers. scandal machinery is being built in the west wing, even as we speak. trump staff is taking a lesson from reagan staff and from president clinton's staff in impeachment and looking at how you hand al permanent state of war. they now realize that they are going to have years of battle, they tell me that they think between prosecutions and investigations and leaks from an inflamed bureaucracy, the permanent government, which brian, i think you'll agree, usually wins in the end, that they're going to be fighting the battle as long as donald trump is president. so they're trying to do two things. one is they're trying to
compartmentalize it, so one of the lessons from the reagan administration is have one person, one office in charge of your rapid response or communications, your legalities to keep everybody from being dragged into it. and second, this administration just needs more fire power. part of the thin staffing that dame out of the transition, part of the weak planning for transition, is that they didn't have the normal surrogate operations, other elected officials to go out and talk for them, the calms, the rapid response, so all of that is being built and one of the architects is steve bannon. so steve, we've been on the outs, but now he's back. he is your street fighter. he is somebody who knows thousand fight a war, it's both his skillset and what he likes to do, and he along with the chief of staff reince priebus are putting together this plan. it's down to charts now and when the president comes back, he'll sign off on what the plan's going to look like. >> one of the great details in your piece, you learn the
president has but one app on his phone, can you identify that app? >> the president opens up his iphone and there's a screen and right in the middle is tweeter. >> wow. unbelievable. and jeremy, you get the last word. -- >> i was hoping it would be the "new york times" app. i think he reads us in print. >> get in line a lot of people wish their apps were on that screen. just the reaction to what this kushner news, giving a name to the person of interest everyone was talking about anyway. how that's going to stiffen spines when they get back. >> well, is to there were multiple aspects to this investigation that were really problematic. and one by one, brian, we're getting answers to those and you have the question first and foremost and were their members of the trump campaign who were in contact with russian officials and who possibly colluded. we know now that indeed it
appears there were. number two, were those people close to the president? in the case of jared kushner and we now have the answer that yes, that was the case. and the third kind of unknown here, at this point, is what di president know? was the president aware of these actions, these communications taking place underneath him. so far he has had plausible deniebltd deniability. this will hang over his head as long as the investigation drags on. >> jeremy peters, mike allen. thank you both so much for coming on our broadcast tonight. and another break for us. when we come back a guy who used to set the visuals for all presidential travel will critique the visuals thus far from this trump trip. you do all this research
welcome back. with the president now in his final stop of his first overseas trip some viral imagery. we asked josh king to talk optics. josh is a veteran events man and has written about the stagecraft of the presidency. he is the author of "offscript." welcome to you. thinking about you as we have watched these visuals go a by. some personal favorites the dance of the swords which can be near fatal, the slow dance and dance mix versions. it is hard to look comfortable when you are dancing with a sword not on home turf. it was the same night as the glowing orb. my question for you is let's say you are an advance man for the president. the saudis say we want the president to put his hands on
glowing orb. what do you say? >> you get these proposals when you do preadvance. this is months or weeks before a trip happens. it is tough to visualize if you are probably walking through the middle east messaging center and seeing it as a construction site and they say there is going to be -- well, okay. you understand that the saudis are making a huge investment in this and you are trying to be the gracious guest. and the trip started out pretty well except that you are going to feed late night comedians with this glowing orb and references back to woody allen and sleeper. >> we had some uncomfortable pictures involving president and first lady who also happen to be husband and wife. saw some folks on twitter have fun with the s.w.a.t. team on the road with the president and first lady.
he extends his hand. it sure appeared to be batted away. same kind of thing happened coming down the stairs of air force one. she gave the kind of fake did the hair adjustment. this is a tougher thing but seen millions of times. >> i studied and watched scores of times myself because they get turned into gifts and you watch them over and over again. i happen to think that those could have been both innocent physical gestures. will the first lady of the united states want to diss her husband in public with 20 state tv camera placements looking at every angle as you disembark. when they got to the sistine chapel in rome when they disembarked today in sicily certainly holding hands. i think lesson learned, a win
for the office of presidential hand holding. >> from the curb your enthusiasm model i want to show this. someone had fun with the president and the pope. >> professional issues aside, on a personal level meeting the pope was a big deal for donald trump. we have seen how things have been going between him and me n melania lately when trump reached out you know he had to be disappointed that the pope wouldn't hold his hand either. ♪ >> everybody's a comedian. we have 30 seconds left bause we are covering an election. tell me about the visual aid. >> mik allen was talking about
how they try to keep president trump from tweeting so much. one 069 ways they do this is this. this is a trip book from europe. you put these two together this is as much schedule as this trip had. nine days on the road. you can only imagine how little holding room time and little screen time the president had to form an opinion of news back in the united states. you keep him on the go this much. all the embarkuations on and off the airplane, moving around the summit table either nato or g-7. the guy does not have time to take out his one app iphone and send the tweet because they have him scheduled this thick. >> keep watching this stuff for us. steve kornacki with numbers. >> the latest here. it's a slow count right now. you see it is a six point lead
for gianforte. what we are waiting for is the same-day vote. big democratic area especially out of billings, yellow stone county. we want to see if there was any kind of surge on election day away from the republican towards the democrat. that is the only hope of democrats right now. they are down three runs in the bottom of the ninth if you want a baseball metaphor. if there was a same day surge. we still don't have same day vote. >> we are expecting a lump sum or a really long night. >> if we get one of these counties to come in and no change i think that tells us what has happened, the republican will be fine. if there is a change here, a twist on election day then we could be in for a very long night. >> with you at the board i feel there is something all right with the world. that is our broadcast on this busy evening. thank you for being here with us. for all of us good night from new york.
this is a little bit weird. i need to start with a personal caveat this evening. i actually spent the day homesick. i came into work. i realized i was too sick to be here. i went and saw a doctor. and then on doctor's advice, i went homesick. i then came back in because of tonight's breaking news, particularly because it is nbc news that is breaking part of it. but you can probably tell that i'm not -- i'm not at my best. just as a human here, i have to tell you i'm a little bit of a mess. i'm on meds that make me out of it. i apologize for neither looking nor sounding nor being my best. but you know, once in a lifetime, this story. when i got the call about this news, i wanted to come in because i think this is important. and here's the contours, the very basic context of what just happened. this story, as far as i can tell, we're going to confirm this with one of the reporters